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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The American South has been hit with record heat, even as other parts of the country welcome fall weather, and it's bringing a sudden dry spell, dubbed a "flash drought" with it, reports the New York Times.

Why it matters: The warm and dry regional pattern is hurting crops across the South, per the Times. But if the drought continues, "it could bring wildfires and render entire crops as losses," writes the Wall Street Journal.

By the numbers: In the Southern region, temperatures for the past week have been "generally 9 to 12 degrees above normal," according to the National Drought Monitor.

  • Dozens of cities across the South, and especially the Southeast, are expected to break temperature records as they await official government tallies, per the WSJ.
  • Montgomery, Ala. broke a record on Tuesday by 6 degrees when temperatures hit 101 degrees, notes the WSJ.

States with extreme drought conditions include Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and northern Florida, per the Times.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.